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How to Grow an Autumn Joy Sedum

By Malia Marin ; Updated September 21, 2017
Bright flowers of autumn joy sedum.
Sedum image by Kimberly Wickerink from Fotolia.com

Autumn joy sedum is a hardy perennial succulent shrub, which can be grown in all but the coldest parts of the United States. In summer, it forms neat, mound-shaped clumps of toothed gray green foliage on two- to three-foot stalks. In late summer, it produces masses of tiny pink flowers held above the foliage. The flower color deepens to a tawny red and then turns to a brick red in late fall. Autumn Joy sedum’s long bloom period, cold hardiness, drought tolerance and easy care make it a great choice for most any garden.

Select a site to plant your autumn joy sedum that receives full sun, with any well-drained soil.

With the shovel, dig a hole that is 1.5 times as deep, and three times as wide as the pot in which the plant is growing. Add organic compost to the soil in a ratio of 1 part compost to 2 parts native soil. Place enough amended soil back into the hole to create a pedestal in the center to support the plant’s root ball.

Remove the autumn joy sedum from the pot and place it on the pedestal. Adjust the height of the pedestal by adding or removing soil until the soil surface of the root ball is level with the rim of the hole. Fill the hole with the rest of the amended soil and gently firm the soil surface with your hands. Create a shallow well, 1 to 2 inches deep just inside the outer rim of the planting hole to keep water from running off.

Fill the planting well all the way to the top with water at planting time. Allow the water to soak into the soil completely, and then repeat once more. Water your newly planted autumn joy sedum every one to two weeks, so that the soil remains evenly moist, but never wet. Water well established plants just enough to prevent wilt in times of drought.

Fertilize autumn joy sedum with a balanced plant food diluted to half strength in early summer. Do not feed these plants in fall to avoid stimulating tender new growth.

Cut back the dead stalks after frost for a neat appearance, or leave them until early spring to provide extra insulation for developing new growth.


Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Organic compost
  • Organic mulch
  • Balanced fertilizer


  • Increase your supply of autumn joy sedum by growing new plants from cuttings dividing large clumps in spring.
  • Grow autumn joy sedum where you can enjoy the many butterflies it will attract to your garden.
  • Use the dried flower heads for crafts or to add interest to winter table arrangements.

About the Author


Malia Marin is a landscape designer and freelance writer, specializing in sustainable design, native landscapes and environmental education. She holds a Masters in landscape architecture, and her professional experience includes designing parks, trails and residential landscapes. Marin has written numerous articles, over the past ten years, about landscape design for local newspapers.